Dave’s Free Plays, Thursday 5/28/15

  • May 28, 2015

Riley Curry is four years old, incredibly cute and has become an overnight sensation with her press conference appearances following Warriors playoff games. Her dad, Stephen Curry, is this year’s NBA MVP, but he’s strictly a supporting cast member when his daughter is around.

I think it’s terrific. It’s rare that anything of substance is ever uttered at these postgame get togethers, and that particularly applies to Curry, who has already mastered the art of avoiding anything controversial. Riley Curry is simply taking what is a non-event and making it more interesting.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the media agrees. Check out the holier than thou commentary by ESPN “First Take” panelists Brian Windhorst and Skip Bayless. Among other things, Windhorst talked about how it’s “counterproductive” because it takes away from being able to ask the questions, and that Stephen Curry could have “had some very important quotes that didn’t get reported.” Yeah, right. Maybe if it’s teammate Draymond Green, you’ve got something as he’s very quotable. Curry isn’t.

Bayless, who has always been the ultimate contrarian by design, has gone off the rail and is simply now ridiculous. He went on about deadlines for the reporters and how the process was “completely disrupted by little Riley stealing the show.” Really, Skip? The roughly two minutes or so that little Riley might have used up with her appearance isn’t going to mess with anyone’s deadline, so that’s an incorrect assessment. As far as the NBA needing to “make a call to preserve the sanctity of the postgame”,  I honestly have no idea what Skip is referring to. But just reading such an inane quote did crack me up, so I guess I’ll give him props for that.

Here’s the thing about post-game press conferences. With very few exceptions, I can basically tell you almost exactly what questions are always going to be asked, and what the replies will be. It’s the same thing over and over virtually all the time. The only deviations are when someone who feeds on controversy has the mic in front of him. So if it’s a postgame presser with Rex Ryan, or post-fight with Bob Arum, okay, let’s make sure we get what might be some inflammatory quotes that make for great water cooler fodder. With Stephen Curry, we’re going to get the NBA version of Derek Jeter. The now retired Yankees superstar was as good as it gets at saying absolutely nothing of substance, and Curry is a chip off that block.

Sorry to pick on Windhorst and Bayless, as they’re hardly the only two media members complaining about the intrusive presence of a four-year old who wants to be with her dad. My first and last take on the topic is that those old farts (regardless of actual age) need to lighten up and just enjoy the moment. Which, by the way, seems to be exactly what the Currys are doing.

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Wednesday sweep, which was fun, and I’ll try and turn that trick again today. Get the goods on my guaranteed introductory monthly offer, which I’ve decided to simply keep in place for the foreseeable future. Find out all the details and decide whether it’s right for you by emailing me directly at cokin@cox.net.

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The White Sox blew the late lead against the Blue Jays, but plated a pair in extras to net a free play winner on Wednesday. I’ll go with one of baseball’s best for the Thursday comp.

INDIANS (Kluber)  @  MARINERS (Paxton)

Take: INDIANS -128 (Don Best consensus line at publication time)

Turn back the clock one year and you’ll readily see some striking similarities to this season as far as the Corey Kluber game ledger goes. Kluber had a few less than desired starts early on, but he got it rolling in May last season. It looks as though he’s repeating that process in 2015.

Kluber had a difficult April. He actually was pitching reasonably well, but was getting some horrible luck and it seemed as though every time he did make a mistake, it would prove very costly. That’s not happening anymore. The reigning AL Cy Young winner is getting on another roll. I can’t say he’ll duplicate last year’s phenomenal run that saw the Indians win 20 of his last 27 starts. But Kluber is back in the form that tells me there might be better options available than trying to beat him.

The Indians are clearly an early season disappointment. I’m not sure they’re going to be able to straighten out what is looking like a very shaky bullpen and this is still a team that can be stymied by good lefties. That’s the rub tonight as Seattle southpaw James Paxton can be very tough at times and no one on the Indians has faced him previously. The Mariners are also returning home with positive momentum following an impressive road sweep at Tampa Bay.

But my key ingredient here is Kluber. Once he got it going in 2014, he was a huge money maker as he dominated on such a frequent basis. It’s a little deja vu all over again here as Kluber has stated to once again blow away the opposition. When a top end starting pitcher gets on a roll, I’ll personally add significantly when I make my line on a game. That’s the case here, as I’m pricing the Indians in the -150 neighborhood. Therefore, at least from my vantage point, I’m not having to pay a premium on Kluber with the price where it is currently. I’ll look to back the Indians tonight.

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FanDuel Value Play, Thursday 5/28/15

Eduardo Rodriguez, P, $4600

It’s the big league debut for Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. This kid is definitely a legit prospect. There does seem to be some debate as to whether his future will be as a starting pitcher or as a high end bullpen contributor. That will likely depend on how well his breaking ball develops, as right now he’s mostly fastball and changeup. But what’s not in question is that Rodriguez has pitched well at Pawtucket and he’s ready for a big league audition. First time around the league lefties are often solid investments as the hitters just aren’t familiar with them. I’ll bank on that being the case here and at a bargain basement price for a starting pitcher, I’ll gamble that Rodriguez can be a profitable buy tonight against the Rangers.